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The Crown Estate, the organisation in charge of managing the Queen’s property portfolio, including vast caverns under the sea bed used to store natural gas, stated that the UK’s gas reserves ran dangerously low during March.
Following an exceptionally cold winter the reserves of natural gas held in storage were already at a low level, but this was exacerbated by problems at a processing plant in Norway meant that gas supplied to Britain via the Langeled pipeline fell drastically during March, as did other supplies from Belgium.
At the time reports claimed that Britain was two days from running out of stored gas, but the Crown Estate has now admitted that things were far tighter.
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Rob Hastings, the director for energy and infrastructure at the Crown Estate, told the Financial Times that, “we really only had six hours' worth of gas left in storage as a buffer.
If it had run any lower it would have meant ... interruptions to supply.
The bottom line is that in the UK we are in a place where the gas supply is dangerously low.”
Offgem, the UK energy watchdog, said that Britain’s history as a natural gas producer means that it has far lower storage capacity than other European countries, and whilst it is working to increase the volume of storage available it still lags far behind and relies heavily on constant imports.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com